Top cast for new company’s debut

Penny Cook

Two of Australia’s favourite performers, Australian singing legend Julie Anthony and TV star Penny Cook, will head up a stunning cast for IAJ’s inaugural season of classic musicals at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth this year.

Penny Cook will play the role of Aunt Eller in Rodgers and Hammerstein famous musical Oklahoma!opening on March 17 and Julie Anthony will play Madame Dubonnet in Sandy Wilson’s toe-tapping evocation of the 1920s, The Boy Friend opening on July 21.

Director of IAJ International, John Senczuk (Annie Get Your Gun, Irene with Debbie Reynolds, African Queen, Les Misérables and Two Old Queens) said that he was thrilled that Anthony and Cook could join his talented local casts.

“I’ve known Penny and Julie for a long time and we’ve worked on many shows together; I’m really delighted that they can join us,” he said.

“Both of these leading ladies are superb, versatile performers with great charm. Western Australian audiences will warm to their talent and personality in these famous musicals.”

Mr Senczuk has also announced the full casting for Oklahoma!, which stars some of WA’s most talented performers, including musical theatre lead Ian Toyne (Ali Hakim), leading actor Michael Loney (Andrew Carne) with Richard Mellick and Alinta Carrol (as Cord and Mrs Elam) with the return to the stage of veteran performer Chris Waddell (as Ike).

The lead role of Curly has gone to West Australian Academy of Performing Arts’ Drew Weston (the role that made Hugh Jackman, also a WAAPA graduate, a star) along with Meghan O’Shea as Laurey and Ben Hudson as Jud.

The 16 member cast includes Analisa Bell, Maree Cole, Sam Devenport, Sherry-Anne Hayes, Tobias Madden, Anthony Pepe and Anna Tsirigotis.

Oklahoma! previews at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on March 11 and opens at His Majesty’s Theatre on March 17.

The Boy Friend will preview at the Bunbury Entertainment Centre on July 15 prior to its premiere His Majesty’s on July 21.

The 2010 Season of Classic Musicals, directed and designed by John Senczuk, will be presented ‘in concert’ mode. Each production will be staged and costumed and features the newly formed IAJ Performing Arts Orchestra (under the direction of respected maestro Ian Westrip OAM) on stage.

IAJ International is a Western Australian based production company dedicated to the presentation of a range of quality music theatre performances involving the wealth of local theatre talent and WAAPA graduates, alongside visiting guest artists of renown.

All bookings for both productions can be made through BOCS on 9484 1133 and/or online at – with major discounts for group bookings.

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